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An Easy Way to Save Money: Be Nice

2012 January 17
by Aaron

niceThis past month, I’ve been pulled over by the police not once, but twice. No, it’s not because of poor driving or failing to obey a traffic light. It was mainly attributed to my faulty memory.

You see, I forgot to renew my tabs (should have used this memory tip for rubber bands).

I’m really ashamed to admit it. I am one of those who puts all their bills and anything of importance on my Google Calendar with alerts and all. But, I seemed to have mixed this car up with the other one and figured tabs were already purchased.

What could have been a $108 fine here in Minnesota, turned out to be a warning. I was well past the 10-day grace period.

Fortunately, both officers let me off easy with warnings – although I was required to mail in proof of insurance on the second occurrence (which I had inadvertently taken out of the car after the first pull-over).

Okay – onto why I’m writing about my offenses.

There was one thing I did during these ordeals that probably worked in my favor. I was honest and respectful. Not tooting the horn here – but there is a case to be made – that if you want to save more money.. be nice!

(And, I’m not talking bout “fakey” nice. It should be genuine.)

So, here are a few ways you can save through your “niceness”.

  • Lower your bills. Say you want to lower your phone bill. When you call the phone company and get hooked up to a representative, they’ll likely use their name to introduce themselves. Make sure you say hi, using their name and put your niceness into gear. Folks are more willing to help people they like.
  • Lower grocery bill. I know this is sometimes hard. You just want to get through the check-out line and out the store. You’re not there to make friends or chit-chat. But, let’s remember there are real people who are working behind the check-out counter. They’ve been standing on their feet for a long time, listening to consistent beeping. And sometimes, they’ll scan a coupon you may have overlooked. Don’t give ‘em a reason not to.
  • Get other discounts. Have a hairdresser you like? Refer your friends to them. Perhaps your next visit will be free. Have a good insurance man? Refer someone. Maybe they’ll look twice at your auto policy for extra discounts.
  • Get a raise. The workplace is a great place to pour out your genuine nice nature. Be the employee to make your boss look good and don’t take the credit. Take the initiative on tasks that no one wants. Be interested in your boss and co-workers.

Not exhaustive for sure. But it seems to me, that more often than not, the nice gal or guy can get ahead.

Can you share ways you’ve saved through your niceness or honesty?

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Aaron

Helped start Three Thrifty Guys with his friends Charlie and Mark after being inspired by how they lived their lives “on the thrift”. A designer by day, Aaron was once $40k in debt. After 5 years – he dug himself out and lives to tell about it. Aaron also blogs at the StarTribune

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